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AI is accepted in the workplace, but not in the course?

petition submitted by Beds SU Admin on Nov 8, 2023.

petition Description

Beds SU believes...

...students should be able to use AI effectively, thus believes that the University should adopt a more clear and progressive approach on AI. The University should turn off its AI detection software until it publishes plans that accepts and embed the use of AI in learning assessments and teach students how to use AI in a beneficial & equal manner.

What are the Facts?

  1. UK universities have been grappling with the influence of Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI), such as ChatGPT, on academic integrity: there is widespread concern that students can easily submit work, attributed to the student, that has been created by an AI tool.
  2. Beds SU’s Advice Service began hearing from students from May 2023 who sought support for academic misconduct allegations related to the use of AI. Whilst the University did not have policies restricting the use of AI at this time, increasing students have sought advice and the University has since prohibited the use of AI-driven platforms.
  3. The University is using AI detection software to give students a ‘score’ that estimates the extent to which work might have been written by AI software. Students were not told about this and students cannot see their ‘AI score’.
  4. The effectiveness of AI detection software has been widely criticised , and research suggesting software permeates bias against non-native English speakers is worrisome .
  5. The University has drafted guidance that attempts to both restrict and promote AI use, which student officers find confusing and contradictory; and staff were observed promoting prohibited AI tools to new students in induction.
  6. Beds SU Sabbatical Officers have made multiple representations and the University have been unwilling to change their approach.
  7. Bodies advising the Higher Education sector have encouraged universities to review their assessment strategies rather than focus on risks to academic integrity . This includes reducing the volume of assessments and alternative assessment methods.

What is the Impact?

  1. There is widespread confusion about what tools students can and cannot use.
  2. Students can too easily fall foul of complicated rules on the use of AI and are at risk of false accusation or failure due to academic misconduct.
  3. Allegations of misconduct toward students may result in students facing unfair or unnecessary scrutiny about their work.
  4. Over-regulation of AI tools may inhibit students’ learning potential and reduce their employability in a fast-changing jobs market.

What is the Beds SU ideal?

  1. The University should turn off its AI Detection and accept that students will, and should, utilise Generative AI within their learning to ensure that students’ courses enhance employability and equip students to be productive, creative workers.
  2. The University should publish their plans to reimagine learning assessment with an ambitious timeline for completion, noting it as the only effective means to maintain academic integrity in a new AI age.
  3. The University should teach students how to use AI so that all students can benefit equally and explore how to make common programmes available to all students so that price is not prohibitive to some.
  4. If students agree this policy, the Sabbatical Officers will campaign to the University’s leadership.


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